24th Apr 2021, 22:44

Well said. I do however dislike how so many manufacturers live of past fame for reliability. Myself I had many great cars throughout the 80s and 90s. Never had a recent Audi, but a Mercedes from 2003 (an E class) was one of the most unreliable cars I ever had. Friends of mine who have BMW's from 2010 onwards also had similar complaints about the reliability of the modern cars compared to cars they had many decades earlier.

25th Apr 2021, 15:26

People are terrible at understanding statistics. Your ownership experience, and that of ‘a few’ other guys, is not necessarily indicative of the rest of the hundreds of thousands of this model of particular car.

How were each of the cars maintained by you all, and/or the previous owners? How does the failure rate of specific components compare against the industry average?

We saw the death of the five-digit odometer decades ago. The average age of cars on the road has grown over the years, and can see a great increase in the recommended service intervals, despite the incentive to manufacturers. The average age of cars in operation grows and grows.

Yes, there is merit in the simple car that just works as intended — I know the highest mileage car out there is a Spartan Volvo. But we forget all the cars from past decades that weren’t expected to last more than 100 thousand miles, and didn’t.

26th Apr 2021, 17:07

"Your ownership experience, and that of ‘a few’ other guys, is not necessarily indicative of the rest of the hundreds of thousands of this model of particular car."

But... how do you make such claim? You speak like you personally know "hundreds of thousands of this model of particular car"? Please show us this data you are talking about. You just simply cannot bring such argument against a person who is a REAL owner.

26th Apr 2021, 17:13

I understand statistics just fine thanks :) All my cars were looked after to the letter from new and the older ones were definitely more reliable.

There is not enough room in these comments sections to do a full analysis of vehicle reliability over many decades. So let's just take a simple average of common complaints over car review websites (not just my anecdotal experiences) I have been reading for many years;

70s - Generally poor and rust was more of a problem, though there are still reports of good reliability of some cars from this time.

80s - Getting better, certainly by late 80s when fuel injection was more common place, definitely an improvement on the old carburetor.

90s - Safety and many more improvements. Arguably the best decade as you had proven reliable engine designs with better driving and performing cars.

Post year 2000 cars? Well I'm not going to deny technology and safety have come a long way, but all I read about is expensive repairs to low mileage cars and people just don't think it is worth it. Blame inflation or whatever else, but the fact is modern cars are far from perfect and just don't let a dealer try to sell you a new car every other year telling you it is automatically better than your old one, because chances are it won't be ;)

27th Apr 2021, 09:24

Every 5 digit odometer vehicle I have had went past the 100,000 mile mark no problem (if serviced on time).

Anyways, Gentlemen, let's not let this discussion thread turn into a the "old vs new" argument that goes on forever, I have seen that before on this website too many times. The bottom line is old and new cars have pros and cons, you need to weigh those up when choosing a car for your lifestyle.

27th Apr 2021, 19:26

Same here. All were large GM and Ford V8 cars from the 70s and 80s when they were still using 5 digits. A logical reason it was switched to 6 is because people were driving more with longer commuting - some racking up 100,000 miles in 5 years. If the car was clean when selling used you could fool anyone saying 20,000 miles was original when in reality it was 120,000. We had a 1980 Olds Cutlass bought from an auction in 1984 that was rolled back to zero, and 6 years later we rolled it again.

27th Apr 2021, 20:57

I would only add that there is indeed fluctuation of quality for every car maker through the years and decades. We know Mercedes was in a ditch from 2000 to the early 2010. Even Toyota, Honda and Subaru went downhill after their great cars from the 90s. I don't think newer Audis are bad cars, in fact I have a feeling they are the more reliable of the European group of Mercedes, BMW and later Volvo. But that does not make them exempt of issues. Particularly, European cars need constant and costly maintenance after 5-6 years.